Wake-Up Call: Barwin And the Sack Surge

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Following the 27-0 demolition of the Giants Sunday night — in which Eli Manning was pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks –Brandon Boykin offered the following analysis:

“I felt like at one point [Manning] was more concerned with the pass rush than he was looking at his receivers,” said Boykin.

Consider that statement for a moment. Heading into the season, the pass rush was one of the biggest concerns surrounding this team. The early portion of the schedule did little to alleviate those worries, as the Eagles were blanked in the sack department in two of their first three games. Since then, an out-and-out explosion. The Eagles have generated 16 sacks in their last three games, including eight  during their shutout win over the Giants on Sunday night. Suddenly, they rank second in the NFL with 19 takedowns.

Leading the charge is Connor Barwin, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today. The five-year pro has a team-leading six sacks — all of which have come over the last three games. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Giant Statement

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Giants waited until the home team was off the field before gathering at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of warm-ups, their cleats digging into the Eagles’ logo. Led by Jason Pierre-Paul, a handful of players began stomping up and down on the emblem in a clear sign of defiance.

When Chip Kelly‘s crew returned and the game began, not a sliver more of disrespect was permitted. And it was the Eagles that did the stompin’ on their way to a 27-0 win and a 5-1 record.

“They can do all that,” said Lane Johnson, “but it’s basically whatever happens between the whistles that counts. We did that tonight; they didn’t.” Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Rams

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ defense after having watched the All-22 tape.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Fletcher Cox – He was outstanding as a pass-rusher. Cox beat his man cleanly and forced Austin Davis into the Connor Barwin sack in the first. His pass-rush forced Davis out of the pocket on third down later in the quarter. Cox got pressure on third down in the second, but Davis completed a pass to Jared Cook. Cox hit Davis on third down in the fourth, but he completed the pass anyway. For the most part, he was solid against the run also. Cox got blocked on Zac Stacy’s 14-yard run in the first. He and Bennie Logan tackled Trey Watts after a 4-yard run in the first. And Cox blew up a run that gained 1 in the second. Overall, two tackles and two hurries, but he played better than those numbers indicate. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Rams, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

In the final 18 minutes of Sunday’s win over the Rams, the Eagles’ defense gave up touchdown drives of 79, 62 and 75 yards.

Billy Davis’ unit was a complete mess. The only thing saving this performance from total meltdown status was a stop late in the fourth quarter that ensured a 34-28 victory.

Yet, when Chip Kelly stepped up to the podium for his post-game press conference, he pointed the finger at the guys on the other side of the ball. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Outside Help

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles forced three fumbles against the Rams and in each instance, an outside linebacker was prominently involved.

Trent Cole‘s caused the biggest boom. He burst past tackle Jake Long with an inside move early in the third quarter and crushed quarterback Austin Davis, forcing the ball loose. Cedric Thornton recovered it in the end zone for his first-ever touchdown. That’s 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles through five games for Cole, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday Sunday. Reports of his demise may have been exaggerated. He has 10.5 sacks over his last 12 games.

“Hey, I’m the type of guy that’s going to make my actions speak. I kind of laugh every time you hear somebody say [my best days are behind me],” said Cole. “I just laugh, and smile and [say], ‘Here you go. Take that one.’ I hear about the heat that y’all bring to me. You’re bad-mouthing me and the next thing you know you’re like, oh s—, you back up. You back up. But that’s alright. That’s what you’re supposed to do.  I love it. It’s all part of it. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I laugh about it because it’s all fun.

“I’m not done. I got some years left in me. I’m not going to say how many but I’ve got some years left in me.” Read more »

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